When I think about growing up or my childhood, the best parts include the times I had the ability to do things that I felt gave me extra freedom or responsibility.
Going to Dairy Queen
I’m 6 years old. We lived on Cherokee Road and nearby was Hwy 33/Center St. It was a fairly busy street. On the other side of the street was Dairy Queen. My childhood best friend, Deena, and I would each get a quarter from our respective houses and we were allowed to walk together across the highway to go get ourselves a treat. I remember getting the quarter and meeting Deena in between our houses. We would look at each other and say “We’ve got it made in the shade.” We’d laugh and make our trip to the local DQ.
Picking out my own clothes
During the school year, mom would always pick out my clothes for me (when I was under 7 years old), but during the summer, I was on my own. I always felt so responsible and in charge when I could do this task for myself. Usually, my outfits were pretty matchy matchy, (think Garanamals where you just match the animals on the tags to match the outfit) so it wasn’t hard to figure out what went together and I wasn’t too adventurous, so mom didn’t have too much to fear about how I’d end up looking.
Driving to Whitefish Dunes
At age 16, while on vacation, I was given permission to drive myself and 3 other kids that we were vacationing with, into Sturgeon Bay to pick up a friend of mine. We then drove from Sturgeon Bay to the Whitefish Dunes State Park. We spent the day at the beach, playing in the water, laying in the sun, and having a picnic, all without any adults around. At the end of the day, we took my friend back to Sturgeon Bay, and then I drove us back to our vacation spot. I was in total control and it felt great.
Thinking back, I used to love having more responsibility and trust put on my shoulders, but now, I sometimes long for the days when I didn’t have to have that burden. Somedays, it would just be nice to be carefree and happy as a kid with a quarter, going to Dairy Queen.